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The Shotem' and Caughtem' Blog is the place to find the latest reviews and commentary on gear, destinations, conditions, events, and general knowledge to inform our readers and give our opinions to anyone listening.

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Tuesday, 24 September 2013 22:30

Build it and they will Come

We at Shotem and Caughtem wanted to test a theory.  We recently got permission to hunt an area that had never had been made into a hunters paradise.  No food plots, no feeders and barely any hunting pressure due to much of the property being used to run cattle.  The thought we hadd is to begin to set up the place for a good place to hunt.  First thought was where was the best place to setup our feeder.

We found the best place to put the feeder was right along a treed area close to a creek and good cover (photo above).  We mowed a swath right along the length of the creek to a nice corner and mowed a large circle with a cross in the middle.  It would give the deer a nice comfort level with plenty of cover.  We set the feeder to go off twice a day.  Once at 6am and once at 6pm.  We laid a mineral block and a maple infused mineral and feed block in different areas of the circle to give multiple feeding spots to hopefully convence more deer to hang around.  As you can see from the photos below and the time stamp it took a whole week for the deer to finally find our little buffet.  After scouting the area we found that they had eaten all the corn that the feeder had thown and half of the blocks. 

We will be excited to see how the population grows as time goes on before rifle season to see the fruits of our labor.  Let us know your tricks of the trade in the comment section below and post your photos to the galleries and tell us your story.

Published in News/Events
Monday, 23 September 2013 22:05

Got Hunting Ammo

We at Shotem and Caughtem were started to become relieved by signs that ammunition was slowly but surely hitting the shelves and not disappearing in a matter of minutes.  For much of the past year since the Sandy Hook tragedy, ammo of all calibers has been hard to find.  As such many manufacturers began pumping out .223, .45, .22, .308 and .40 and not focusing on hunting ammo which tends to stay on shelves longer.  But as hunting season starts many shelves are not replenishing their hunting ammo stock as fast due to the switch.  Follow the money.

With hunting season in full swing we wanted to remind our members that the days of just hitting the store and grabbing the ammo you need while on your way to the field is not something one should rely on accomplishing.  In some calibers it requires a more refined search to find the caliber and grain combination for your gun.  Also, many of us have our scopes ranged in with a certain grain that may not be readily available causing a need to re-sight in our weapon prior to spoking animals in our hunting area.  Not that making sure our weapons are in working order so that we do not have a Dick Cheney misfire.  

We have found that even duck shells are not in the abundance that they once were.  With the recent tragedy at the Naval Yard, ammo shelves are once again being cleaned out in fear of potential action prior to the rumor mill getting everyone in a frenzy.

Let us know how things are panning out in your area in the comment section below and as always come brag with us in the galleries.

Published in News/Events
Thursday, 19 September 2013 22:34

Don't Move

With Bow Season here and many rifle hunters itching to get into the field we at Shotem and Caughtem felt it was a good time to extend our valuable lesson we learned last year.  When you first connect with an animal and watch that animal buck showing that you have made a good hit one of the most important things a hunter can do is stay put.  It is one of the hardest things a hunter has to do to make sure you do not spook the animal further.  Tracking the animal visually after that first strike without leaving your shooting position can be the difference between a trophy mounted on your wall and a disappointing story.  

Last year we had a monster in our sights.  About a 12 point buck stood at a perfect shooting range, perfectly situated.  We lined up our shot while it was calmly on the move and boom.  One big kick and the animal made a swift run followed by hunkering down behind a tree.  After waiting for about 30 min we left our position and began to approach where we saw the animal down.  About 50 yards from the animal as we day dreamed of the nice mount he would make we watched as the animal jumped up and took off.  Watching those beautiful horns run into the distance was gut wrenching.  

It was then that we realized we had made the fatal mistake of pursuing the animal and engaged his fight or flight response that took the animal far, far away.  After tracking for what seem to be days we lost a blood trail and pursued the animal to a property we did not have permission to chase.  

We returned from our hunt and immediately started to research what we had done wrong.  We found that leaving our position was our fatal mistake.  If you are not sure that you made a perfect kill shot, the best thing one can do is stay put and hang out.  Most use a three hour wait period as a guide before pursuing an animal.   It allows the time to either die due to bleeding from the wound or allow the fight or flight response to diminish making it possible to recover the animal.

Let us know your thoughts on that initial response in the comment section below and post your photos of your trophies to the Shotem gallery and tell us your story.  Good Luck on holding your excitement this season!

Published in News/Events

As Shotem and Caughtem Seasons begin to cross paths and come into full stride we thought we might impart a little knowledge before the weekend when it comes to the secrets of landing monster catches or trophy sized big game.  As with any sport such as ours, sometimes you might just get a little lady luck thrown your way.  A bit of right place at the right time.  However, if you listen to many pros and individuals who have landed the big ones, the greatest ally many will acknowledge is the hardest one for many of us hunters and fisherman to remember........time.

Time spent on the water or in the field is one precious thing that many of us do not have the luxury of acquiring in the large amounts.  We started Shotem and Caughtem just after the end of last years deer hunting season.  Since then our time spent on the water or in the field has been limited.  We try to get out as much as we can but we have not been able to dedicate the time it takes to truly track, map, maintain and lure in the monsters.  Even more frustrating sometimes is the inability to hunt your own place.  Because hunting has turned into a pay to play game many must rely on public lands to hunt and fish.  Once again this also makes it hard to set up things like feeders, cameras and food plots.  So you need more time scouting these locations to track movement or figure out the under water topography.  

Time is a resource that is limited for most.  As we sit watching shows on the Outdoor Channel, Discovery or Sportsman Channel we fail to remember that many of these hunters and fisherman/woman spends days or weeks in these areas in search of the right animals.  Many use outfitters who know when certain animals poop.  They too many times come home empty handed.  They too wish they had more time, better weather or sometimes just better luck.  It is why we love the sports so much.

So we feel that everyone should remember that we all sometimes just need more time.  Do not get discouraged.  You will never meet someone who considers themselves a great outdoorsman/woman that does not have as many glory stories as they have mishaps or nothing to show for their efforts.  It is why they call the sports hunting and fishing and not shooting and catching.

The one thing we always seem to remember from our times on the water or in the fields is the beauty of mother nature and time with our friends and family.  It is what takes out time and time again.  

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and we hope when you do land even the small ones you post your photos to the galleries or start your own gallery and share your adventures with your friends and family.  Remember your time spent outdoors is what you should brag about, big or small.  It is why we are so proud of what Shotem and Caughtem has to offer for our members.  Have a great Shotem and Caughtem weekend!  We all hope you find more time!

 

Published in News/Events
Thursday, 12 September 2013 21:58

Early Deer Bow Hunting Tactics

We at Shotem and Caughtem can hear some of our members mumbling the seconds to the upcoming start of Bow Hunting Season.  However, the heat we have been experiencing in the Midwest might change things up for the inexperienced bow hunter.  As such we felt we would offer some tactics to remember prior to heading out to the field.  

We know that one of the rewards for early season bowhunting is year is that mature bucks will still be in Summer Pattern.  They have not had a great deal of pressure and may still be in bachelor groups.  You have a chance of catching this deer still in his summer home range in daylight hours.   Next, you want to consider what food sources he is feeding on that may include: food plot, corn (where legal), or natural sources (grape vines, persimmons). 

In addition to the food source locate the WATER source and bedding area.  Along with food, water is going to be a key driver in deer patterns when it is "HOT" during the early season.  While I normally do not like to hunt on a food plot, this time of year you will see mature bucks feeding in a food plot in daylight hours.  What if you are hunting an area that does not have a concentrated food source?  You next option should be to concentrate your stand location near a water source next to bedding area.  One that has moving water if at all possible.  A trail leading up to the water source from bedding area can be a PRIME stand location for this time of year.  Keep in mind a mature buck will come down wind!

While this time of year can have some tough conditions it can have some great rewards.  You have an opportunity to catch a mature buck on his feet during the daylight hours.  Taking time to analyze what your deer are doing and paying attention to details to control your scent can help you get that opportunity to let an arrow fly. 

Most of all we hope you share your early season bow hunting tactics in the comment section below and share your photos to the galleries.  From the size of the monster catches so far this fall we hope we have just as much luck in the shotem gallery.  

 

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 22:05

Bonus Doe Deer Hunting Season

We at Shotem and Caughtem have learned that many states have opened up a couple of day bonus rifle season from which to thin the female deer population a little more in some areas.  As many hunters already have the option to hunt does during a one week bonus season in January, this rifle season happens just before what typically is the rut, which is bow and black powder hunters favorite time of year.  For example Kansas has opened a state wide two day rifle period on Oct 12th and 13th to be able to get out early.  Pennsylvania has an antlerless season that stretches from Sept 7th to October 4th.  Missouri has a bonus season Oct 11th - 14th for certain areas.

For many states the bonus season is a new thing.  We just learned about this extra rifle hunting season a couple of months ago for our state and began checking other states programs.  We felt that many rifle deer hunters who wished they had more time to hunt doe, due to the better meat quality, might check with their individual states to see if they are as lucky as we are to just get a couple extra days out in the field. 

Many should remember that with all the deer hunters in the field that safety should come first so make sure you are wearing your orange.  

Let us know if your state has a double bonus season in the comment section below so that we can help spread the word to others and as always we hope to see your photos in the galleries and tell us your story. 

 

Published in News/Events
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 21:21

Elk Deaths in New Mexico

We at Shotem and Caughtem read a report from Benjamin Radford about a recent mass death of Elk North of Las Vegas, New Mexico that we felt was worth repeating.  With many hunters admiring their prized Elk Tags for their upcoming hunt, the news could be disturbing.

 

Officials with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish are puzzling over the mysterious deaths of more than 100 elk, apparently all within a 24-hour period, in rural New Mexico.

The elk were found Aug. 27 on a 75,000-acre ranch north of the city of Las Vegas.  So far wildlife officials have seemingly ruled out most of these possibilities: The elk weren't shot (nor taken from the area), so it was not poachers. Tests have come back negative for anthrax, a bacteria that exists naturally in the region and can kill large animals. There seems to be no evidence of any heavy pesticide use in the area that might have played a role in the die-off.  Though lightning strikes are not uncommon in the Southwest and in New Mexico specifically, killing over 100 animals at one time would be an incredibly rare event. It might be an as-yet unidentified disease, though killing so many at once — and so quickly — would be very unusual. Another possibility is some sort of contamination of the well or water tanks, but so far no toxins have been identified.

Wildlife officials are hopeful that they will be able to identify the cause of death — if for no other reason that it would give peace of mind to ranchers and hunters.

Let us know in the comment section below if you have seen or run across any dead elk in your scouting adventures in the comment section below.  We hope the Elk have not found a bug like the Deer have found here in the Midwest that will deplete the herd further.  As hunters it is our duty to help these organizations find as much evidence as they can to help find out the who, what, when and where.  

Published in News/Events
Monday, 09 September 2013 22:15

Home Made Deer Blind

We at Shotem and Caughtem love to find creative ways to adapt certain potential inexpensive materials to create better ways to hunt and fish.  With deer hunting season just right around the corner many might be looking for a good way to conceal, block wind and create a little nicer environment to hunt from a ground position.

Answer:  The Wood Pallet 

Wood pallets are used to haul heavy equipment around the world.  Many of these pallets are found stacked in a wide range of parking lots, back of warehouses and near dumpsters.  They can be acquired for taking them away.  The great thing about them for us hunters is that they provide a perfect ready to use 4x4 or 4x6 area from which to connect together and create a great deer blind.  They can be quickly attached together with some wood screws and made as elaborate and unique as the person creating them.  They can cost almost nothing and provide a decent wind block and good shooting platform with little work and money.  The way the boards are situated they can be used to tuck different tree branches, grasses or painted.  They also require little modification to have a great shooting window.    

We will be providing you with a photo of what we created next week.  But we wanted to write this to see what kind of ideas we could spur in the gear gallery before the season started.  We might even throw in some free Shotem and Caughtem Gear to the member that creates the best Wood Pallet Deer Blind and posts it to the gallery.  There is only one stipulation to the contest to make this fun for all.  You have a total budget to create your blind of 20 bucks max :)  You will get bonus point the less money you use.  Let us know your ideas in the comment section below and good luck!

Published in News/Events
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 19:47

African Safari Hunt on Your Bucket List?

We at Shotem and Caughtem were a little excited when Mara decided to become a member of our website.  She has lived and been apart of a conservancy for most of her life in Africa.  With that we were ecstatic when she decided to help us out a little with informing more of our members about opportunities and possibilities in Africa.  She has also started her own discussion so others can ask her direct questions about Africa, their services and her personal experiences.  If you would like to join the discussion visit www.shotemandcaughtem.com.  Here is a little more background about her organization. 

Maroi Conservancy:


Maroi is situated in the Limpopo Valley on the banks of the mighty Limpopo River in South Africa. Maroi was established in 1993.

Maroi Conservansy caters for the hunting of a wide variety of game and game birds for the local and International hunter. We also cater for deep see fishing at our lodge in Mozambique, in the unspoilt waters of the Pomene area.

Maroi Conservancy focuses on sustaining the environment and the beauty of Africa for many generations to come, hunting is very important to us in order to manage population numbers as the animals can not be relocated due to foot and mouth disease along the border line. 

Ethical hunting is also very important to us, all the game including 3 of the big five are free roaming and wild, the success of a hunt is determined by the patience and enthusiasm of the hunter, our trained professional hunters and game trackers are always there to motivate and ensure a successful hunt.

Hunting in Africa is hunting on its own level, one can not compare it to anything else, mainly because every story you hear of Africa is different, some good, some life changing, therefore I can only tell you that much about hunting or fishing in Africa, the rest is your story to tell.

Visit our website for more information on Maroi Conservancy: www.maroiconservancy.co.za

 

 

Published in User Spotlight
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 21:48

Opening Weekend Dove Hunting Tips

We at Shotem and Caughtem celebrated our lack of labor to adventure out for the opening day of Dove Season.  As many of you have already read it happens to be one of our favorite hunts.  So lets talk about the patterns that we saw and what we found out about the birds patterns prior to a hopeful cooling of temperatures and another wave of our winged friends from up north.

Water...........lots of water.  In years past you could find a good water hole located to good feed and have a blast hunting.  This year however, the Midwest got a lot of rain just a few weeks prior to last weekend.  Ponds were full, some spilling over, streams too and where we hunted about every hole that could hold some water had some.  Too many water options make for a difficult Dove hunt.  Because they could find water just about anywhere, we could not hunt a pattern.  

Also due to the rain, crops have done really quite well which also made food abundant.  When we were cleaning our birds we found them full of all types of crops.  Millet, corn, sunflower and wheat were found in several different birds.  This meant some where in fields of millet, some in the corn fields and some in the wheat fields.  Again no pattern.  Too many yummy morsels.   

Day two required us to shift tactics.  Active prey equals active hunter.  So we opened  the morning sitting at a spot where we had seen decent flight traffic. As soon as the activity slowed we began walking to where we had seen birds perch from the afternoon heat, going to gravel and going to feed.  Then repeat.  We found this tactic resulted in not only a beautiful walk enjoying the great outdoors but also garnered more action and more Dove.  The picture above was our second morning after just a couple of hours of hunting.  We had not had that good of luck the day prior in such a short amount of time.   

Let us know how your tactics worked this past weekend should you have ventured out in the comment section below or post your photos to the Shotem gallery and tell us your story.

 

Published in On Location
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